Looking into Mirrors - Part II

After a fair bit of procrastinating I've taken the plunge and gone with Mark's recommendation - Daytona BSC mirrors. So hopefully I'll able to see something other than my elbows.

It looks like they sit fairly low on the bike and Mark said they have good visibility, aside from when the speeds pick up and they vibrate. Not all that different from my current mirrors.

Take a look at them mounted on his annoyingly good looking SR here.


Big Bottom

When I first started looking at wider wheels and better tyre choices I wasn't a fan of it's looks. But after I looked at more and more and more I started to love what it did to the profile of the bike, the wide choice of tyre options it opens and the view from behind...

Lovely stuff. The guys on the SR500 forum have been answering some of my stupid questions and they seem to say that changing to 17"s was the best handling change they made to their bikes. I think they were coming from the bike 19" loops, but hey, most new sportsbikes run 17" rims, so there's gotta be something to it anyway.


And some more examples...

It's not all that often the Japanese will relace a wheel. Most of the time they seem to do straight swaps with XJR400's or something similar, changing swingarms as well as mags. That way they seem to be pushing 4.25-4.5 inch rims and that opens up Pilot Powers and all sorts of stuff.

When they do change rims the standard sizes appear to be 3" fronts and 4" rears. Any wider than around a 140 rear and you start to get clearance problems with the chain.

I found the one below on a blog somewhere. This one is actually running a 110 front. It looks like they've just laced the rear 18" wheel to the front. Makes sense actually, but you'd be losing out a little by not changing it to a 17" as well.

And here's a bit of a more traditional style cafe SR with the wider rims...

Anyway, half out of curiosity and half with the intention of changing my bike over to wider wheels i'm doing a bit of research about building some wheels. Thankfully I've got a mate who has built a fair few over the years while racing motocross who would be able to help me out.
Either I can spend a couple of hundred bucks up front and get a set of DID rims and stainless spokes from Japan and use my hubs...
Or alternately, and maybe more likely, I'll start searching around for some SR400 front and rear hubs that I'll tidy up, get powdercoated/painted and start looking for some cheapo stainless spokes and 36-hole rim. I'll have to do some more research on what spokes etc, but if I've just got a spare set of hubs sitting around I can do it in my own time.
More musings on tyres and wheels coming shortly.


#Neighbours, everybody needs good Neighbours#

Tomorrow I'm one of ten going to Mont Albert to be in a scene from Neighbours. I saw an ad somewhere for males aged 25-35 and with naked bikes for a bit of paid extra work for a day and a half. So I'm off!

As I sit here, throwing poses at the mirror and practising laughing at Toadfish's hijinks I have to reflect upon my acting career thus far.

IMDB Entry for Marlon Slack (Draft)

ABC1 ANZAC Day Ceremony
Slightly chubby 13 year old cadet later becoming a scrawny 18 year old Leading cadet in the AIRTC. Marlon was seen struggling to carry the banner for the ever diminishing ranks of the RAAF Signals Group during the annual ANZAC day march.


Channel 9 News, Channel 10 Nightly News, SBS World News Tonight, ABC News, SKY News
Featured in the background of an evening news report on the steps of the Magistrate's court as some bloke pushed cameramen around. Marlon was eating a Snickers bar at the time.*

The Einstein Factor
Lost spectacularly in front of the whole nation on his special topics of "Military Small Arms of WW2". He was competing against an expert on "The Princess Bride" and "The Work of Bon Jovi".

In-House Corporate Video
A as-yet unreleased production in which Marlon featured as a satisfied customer. For this role Marlon drew upon years of study of Brechtian theatre and Stanislavski acting theory to hold a phone while smiling.

Hmph. Less than impressive! Ah well, it's a bit of fun and I might get my ugly nut on the tele.

Autographs by application.

*During my lunchbreak I'd walk around the block and walk in and watch committal hearings for shits and giggles.


Bar-Ends and Top Caps

I've picked up some toys for the SR from Vanem:

Fork Top Caps

Bar End Weights

And inside the packet:

A little allen key - a nice touch. Even more surprisingly, it didn't round the screws when I installed them. I'm guessing the smaller rubber is for bars with a smaller ID. Buggered if I know how to install them correctly, but I just screwed them in and that seemed to work. I'm guessing the screws squish up the rubber which expands to hold the inside of the clipon. Seems to work...

I took the bike out for a 4-odd hour run up to Flowerdale/Yea/Broadford today and the weights have made a difference. Not a whole world of change but they've certainly taken the sting out of the vibration. I think the feel would be greatly improved with some thicker grips.

The top caps just pushed in. I've seen a fair few top caps that are were heavily rusted. Next chance I get I'm going to pull the caps and put a bit of oil/grease down there to prevent this happening in the years to come. I think it makes a huge, huge difference to the look. So much so it's got me rethinking the gauges again. Ha.

For something so easy to install, there's a hell of a lot of instruction.

Maybe there's something important in there?

As a sidenote, today I was seeing how long I can last on the bike before getting some real pain, and about three hours into it I felt a stab in my upper left shoulder. This has been happening for the last year or so I've owned the bike. Before then I was doing 10-12 hours without too much pain. So I'm going to have a play and maybe try something closer to the standard seating position. Having a Cafe racer is great... but it'd be even better if I could ride the thing!


My bike on the Dyno

Someone organised a dyno day where for $20.00 you get a run and a A/F readout. It was run atDynobike in Morabbin.

After running sportsbike after sportsbike he opened the door of the sound proof booth and saw the SR. "Jesus, will it make it?" he laughed and said something about finding a helmet for when it goes bang.

But it didn't, and here's the vid!

Original link is here.

And the same run in high-def, if you're that way inclined.

Results? 34. something horsepower. And I'm pretty bloody happy with that. The guy there said a standard WR450 puts out the same. And that's a four valve, liquid cooled, DOHC short-stroke motorcrosser. Mine's an air-cooled SOHC 30 year old dirtbike.

(Now we won't say what happens to the WR450 when you start to let it breathe better. Let me have my moment in the sun.)


That seals it - I've forked up!

Well, last weekend I changed the fork seals on the bike.

And I got to use a grinder.

Strange mix really. Usually the two things go hand in hand but as always one or two little challenges reared their head.

I did the work at my girlfriends house, which is a large building in Melbourne that's undergoing some renovations. I was lucky, nae, blessed with the use of a good work bench and a vice for the weekend and I shudder to think of going back to work without one.

Due to having to do the whole thing I was a bit under the pump having to get the bike in and out of the place by the end of the day and I'm not happy with the job I've done. So I'll do it again one weekend... oh well.

I put the SR up on the Harley Cruiser stand that I'd bought from Anderson, choked it up with some bricks as the weight was biased forward a bit and went about undoing the pinchbolts that held everything together at the front. All 8,000,000 of them.

Forks came off beautifully, I drained the oil into a bucket and a bit on the the floor and put everything in the vice. I'd been to alltools where I had multiple orgasms looking at the shiny tools there and picked up a 50cm extension of my ratchet and a 17mm hex head.

Everything was in the vice but...

... The socket wouldn't fit inside the inner tube.

So it was upstairs to play with a grinder to take a bit off the outside.

Lovely stuff.

The whole setup basically looked like this:

Everything turned easily and with a few swift pulls the whole thing came apart neatly.

And here's a similar pic, showing the order in which it sits when mounted.

So from top to bottom is the fork seal, the spacer, the bushing and at the bottom sits another bushing which I didn't remove.

Anyway, here's the parts all laid out. Not in the correct order, of course. I managed to stuff up what could have actually been a helpful picture.

So here's where things get interesting. The All-Balls fork seals that Deus sent didn't seem to be the same as the OEM ones that were fitted.

So, long story short... with the spacer the new seals would sit above the recess for the retaining bolt.

To give you an idea, this is how it all fitted together when I started:

Get my drift? So, it's one of two things. It's supposed to fit without the spacer. Or it's the wrong seal.

Running short of time I went the first option. I haven't had the chance to test it yet, but on Saturday I'll be motorbiking around and should know if it's worked, but in the hackjob I did forcing them in I'd be surprised. A fork seal driver is next on the list.

So, class, what did I learn this week?

A vice and a good bench makes all the difference.
As does the right tool.
A fork seal driver would be a good investment.
A need a bloody garage.

I'll pick up some OEM fork seals shortly. I know it should be okay mounted how it is at the moment, but I don't like changing things from standard.

Yeah, shutup. You know what I mean.